Variants and Analysis

Assignment 7 — Web Architecture Fall 2009

Assigned: Tuesday, November 24th, 2009
Due: Sunday, December 6th, 2009


Today's landscape of Internet and Web technologies offers a sometimes confusingly wide array of implementation choices. Given some application idea, implementation can be done via any number of techniques. In this assignment, you will implement and analyze two techniques for presenting the time to a user in a Web page.


At present the ways to display time to a user fall into four quadrants: You can either display the time dynamically or statically, and you can either compute the time on the client or on the server. To complete this assignment, choose two of these methods of displaying the time to the user, and implement them on a server or web page of your choice. These two methods should be from two different quadrants. You may use any programming languages you feel will accomplish the assignment, but your emphasis should be on doing it in the best way possible that also demonstrates your understanding of the Web and the Internet.

Feel free to decide what factors you feel are most important to your implementation. They could be the demands on the server, the accuracy of the displayed time, the reliability of the time under high network latencies, or something else altogether - whatever you feel best implements the time for the factors you feel are important.

In a short blog-length essay, please describe the two methods you have implemented, four additional variants that you could have implemented instead, the factors, strengths and weaknesses you considered when choosing your implementation, and the consequences of your decisions. If you implemented code on the server side, please include that information (the server-side code) as well so that we can evaluate it. Finally, gather up all this information, place it in the BODY of an email (no attachments, please!) and email that to

Finally, since this is your last assignment, please decide whether you will continue using your drupal site after the end of this class. If not, please take it down since we have already had one site hacked due to a configuration error, and the iSchool IT guys already have a lot on their plate. Our good behavior about this will help future classes to be able to do things like this. To take down your site, simply delete the drupal site in your public_html folder. If you want to be thorough, you can also drop the tables from the database. If you need help with this, please let me know.


You may find the Variants and Analysis lecture from last Fall's Web Architecture class to be of value:

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